Can You Keep People From Eating Themselves to Death?
Sunday, July 03, 2011
We had our family July 4th BBQ today. Yes it's a day early, but we'll be attending a parade and other events tomorrow. I grilled salmon and had salad, rosemary red potatoes, and corn on the cob. All very healthy.
My mother was told me last night that she would make a salad. She was also supposed to bring some low-fat ice cream. She showed up with neither. Instead, she brought a big bucket of KFC extra crispy and the ingredients for S'mores.
My mom is grossly overweight. She has high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and two weeks ago her doctor told her that her cholesterol was too high. My husband (cholesterol problems run in his family) and I sat down with her and made sure that she knew what foods she could and couldn't eat. All with no impact.
A few people ate a piece of chicken, but most wanted the salmon. Later in the day, I walked into the kitchen to find my mother pulling the crust and skin off of the KFC and eating it. She ate the skin off all the remaining pieces and left the "nude" chicken meat in the bucket.
Someone suggested this behavior might be a result of her age (82), but she has eaten like this ever since I can remember. Her doctor has repeatedly given her diets to follow, warned her off of salt and sweets and high fat foods, but she refuses to listen. Even when we cook healthy food for her, she does nothing but complain about olive oil instead of butter, light sour cream, light butter or margarine, fruit that isn't drowning in a sugary syrup, etc.
I'm at a loss. I can't force her to eat healthy. I can't prevent her from eating herself to death. Should I just let her alone given her age, or should I continue to fight with her over her habits?